Overview & History
Terhune Pioneer Memorial Park contains the Terhune Pioneer Memorial, also know as the Terhune Burying Ground, which was the cemetery plot set aside by Luke Whitmore in 1825 after his daughter of 18 years died and there was no local cemetery available. A total of 21 individuals had connection to the cemetery. There are a few original gravestones that still exist on site. Access to the site requires climbing a set of stairs.
The Terhune Memorial contains the gravestones of John Terhune, Sarah Vreeland Terhune, and Emily Whitmore. The stones were moved to this location from the cemetery at the corner of Packard and Burton Roads by the Daughters of the American Revolution in the 1920s after the original burial site had fallen into disrepair. At that time the remains were irreclaimable and no attempt was made to move them.
Ensign John Terhune volunteered in the Continental Army in 1776 at age 17. He served under General George Washington during the difficult New Jersey campaign including the successful suprise attack on the Hessians at Trenton. At the age of 15, Sarah Vreeland walked under cover of night nine miles from her father's farm to Newark to warn the American Patriots of the formidable presence of British and Hessian troops gathered near Hackensack. In delivering her message she met Terhune, then a private, who was on duty in General Washington's Camp at the time. They were later married and moved to Michigan Territory in 1831.
Read a winter 2015 article by the Ypsilanti Historical Society about Terhune Pioneer Memorial Park
Ann Arbor's city parks sit on the ancestral and traditional homelands of several indigenous Native peoples. Read a land acknowledgement from the city and learn more about the early history of the land here.
Access and Parking
There are ongoing and limitless opportunities for volunteering and getting engaged with the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services Unit. GIVE 365 and the seasonal Adopt-a-Park Program offer volunteer opportunities ranging from a 90 minute commitment, to a more long term, ongoing role. If you are feeling the call to volunteer or give some time, reach out or explore the websites above to see what’s upcoming or how to get involved.
Report a Problem - A2 Fix It
To report any maintenance issues or other problem during your park visit, please report through A2Fix It. When reporting an issue in a park please include location details. There is a details and description section near the end of the request process to help you provide this. In addition, users can utilize the pin (website) or X (mobile app) feature to provide specific location information inside the park. Finally, please consider including a wide angle photo or include background landmarks, which helps staff find and fix the problem.
Gifts and Donations
Information on donating to the parks and the Guide to Giving can be found here. Alternatively if you have a special project or park improvement idea that you want to donate your time and energy toward, a great place to start is through Adopt-a-Park and the proposing a special park project guide. For information on donating a tree through Adopt-a-Park, the tree donation guide can help you get started.